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What to Do If Your Spouse Has Been Charged with a Federal Crime

One thing that can be more distressing than learning that your spouse is facing criminal charges is learning they are facing federal criminal charges. If you receive this phone call, you will naturally have questions about what will happen, your future, and much more. The best thing you can do in this situation is to contact an Illinois federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Information About Federal Criminal Cases

It is important to recognize that federal charges differ from charges brought at the state level in many ways. These include:

  • Your spouse’s case will be heard in federal court, which has different rules and procedures from state court
  • The penalties for federal convictions are often more severe, and there can be mandatory minimum jail sentences and other sentencing guidelines
  • Federal charges usually stem from thorough federal investigations, which means the prosecutor might have substantial evidence to prove the charges

Because of these differences, it is critical that you find a defense lawyer who has specific experience handling federal criminal cases. 

What Should You Do Next?

Even though your spouse is the one facing charges, there are steps you can take to help their case. 

Preserve Documents

You should make sure to keep all the documents that your loved one or you receive that relate to the case. This can include:

  • Search warrants
  • Arrest warrants
  • Police reports
  • Pretrial release papers (if they are released at all)

When you show these documents to a lawyer, they can help you determine who arrested your spouse and where they are detained.

Remind Your Spouse of Their Rights

Being arrested and held in jail can be traumatizing, and even if your spouse should know their rights, it can be helpful to remind them. Tell them they can invoke their right to remain silent by telling authorities that they want to do so. They then have the right to speak with a defense attorney and have legal representation during any police questioning. When your spouse is scared, a reminder of these rights can be beneficial. 

Seek Out the Right Lawyer

While it is important to have defense representation in general, you want to make sure your spouse has the right assistance. It is important to act right away, as you would ideally want to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer to represent them at their initial appearance, which should be within three days of their arrest. Start interviewing lawyers right away.

Once you hire an attorney, you should feel free to ask questions you have about the process and your spouse’s case. However, always keep in mind that you are not the lawyer’s client, which means they might be able to give you all the information you want. Stay patient and trust the attorney’s experience. 

Contact an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If your spouse is charged with a federal crime, you should contact the Law Offices Of Jonathan Minkus immediately. We can aggressively defend against all types of federal charges, so contact us for a consultation today. 


For Over 33 Years

Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.

We urge you to contact us for a FREE, confidential, initial consultation.

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